WASHINGTON (AP) — Welcome to the new off-white America.
A historic decline in the number of U.S. whites and the fast growth of Latinos are blurring traditional black-white color lines, testing the limits of civil rights laws and reshaping political alliances as “whiteness” begins to lose its numerical dominance.
Long in coming, the demographic shift was most vividly illustrated in last November’s re-election of President Barack Obama, the first black president, despite a historically low percentage of white supporters.
It’s now a potent backdrop to the immigration issue being debated in Congress that could offer a path to citizenship for 11 million mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants. Also, the Supreme Court is deciding cases this term on affirmative action and voting rights that could redefine race and equality in the U.S.